Documentation – Topics

MyCurator is based on a set of Topics that you choose to follow. Each Topic defines a filter of keywords that focus your search for articles and information on an area of interest you wish to follow. Each Topic also has one or more Sources where it will find the news, articles and posts relevant to your topic.

In addition to the filter of keywords, you can use the MyCurator Relevance engine to perform MyCurator Training to identify articles and information that you like, as well as those that you don’t wish to see. This process of training, much like spam filtering for email, allows you to much more tightly target the information and articles you wish to view on a topic.

Creating and maintaining your Topics is done from the  Topics item within the MyCurator menu. When you choose Topics you will see a list of all Topics that have been created. You can click on a topic name to edit the Topic.  Click on the link: Click Here to Add a New Topic.  Click on the link: Click Here to Delete or Rename a Topic.

Topic Keyword Guidelines

The following guidelines apply to all of the topic keyword fields – Topic Search 1, Topic Search 2 and Topic Excluded.

  1. A keyword must be 2 or more characters long and can include numbers, and can be just a number, such as a year.  You can enter them in upper or lower case, but all keywords and articles are evaluated without regard to case.
  2. Keywords should be separated by spaces or commas.
  3. You may enter a phrase, which is two or more keywords enclosed with either single or double quotes, but be consistent.  A phrase will require that the keywords match exactly in the order of the phrase, with no other words between the keywords.  For example the phrase “content curation” will not match the article text  ‘content creation or curation’.  Phrases may include numbers and the keywords must be 2 characters or longer.
  4. You may enter a base or stub of a word and various endings will also be matched.  For example if you enter – manufact – the system will find any word that STARTS with that base such as: manufacturing, manufacture and manufacturer.
  5. Do not use punctuation as part of your keywords, such as 99% or helpful;  or ^test or #twitter.  The punctuation is stripped from articles when they are read and will not match any punctuation you put in the keywords.

Topic Keyword Tips

If you want to have a lot of articles make it through the filter, use few or none Topic Search 1 keywords and either None or as many as possible Topic Search 2 keywords.  Leaving both fields blank will result in no articles being excluded by these two filters (other filters such as Topic excluded, article length or skip domains will still work though).  You can then use the training feature of MyCurator and have the AI Relevance engine do the work of classifying articles.  This can result in more diversity and discovery of articles compared to tightly filtering based on your expectations.

Conversely, many Search 1 words and few Search 2 words will provide the most filtering of articles.

You may judge how much filtering is being performed by the Search 1 and Search 2 keywords by reviewing the Log activity in the Logs menu item.  See the Logs section of this documentation for details.

Topic Field Descriptions

If you are creating a new Topic, the Topic Name is required. If you are changing a Topic, you can not change the name, you must Remove a Topic and then Create a Topic. Each of the items on the Topic page are described below.

  1. Topic Name – Each Topic has a unique name. The name can be up to 200 characters and include spaces between words.  Just letters, numbers, dashes, underscore and spaces are acceptable.
  2. Topic Search 1 – EACH of the words entered here MUST be found in the article, or the article will be skipped.  You may leave this blank and it will match ALL articles.  See the Keyword guidelines above for details on entering keywords.
  3. Topic Search 2 – AT LEAST ONE of the words entered here must be found in the article, or the article will be skipped. You may leave this blank and it will match ALL articles.  See the Keyword guidelines above for details on entering keywords.
  4. Topic Excluded – If ANY word entered here is found in the article, the article will be skipped. You may leave this blank and it will NOT exclude ANY articles.  See the Keyword guidelines above for details on entering keywords.
  5. Minimum Article Length (in words) – At LEAST this many UNIQUE words of at least 4 characters must be in the article. That means short words like is, if are not counted and duplicates of words are only counted once. An entry of 100 would typically return an article of around a half page on the screen or more. If you make this too long, you may not get any articles. You can look at the MyCurator Logs and you will see entries such as “Post too short 50”. From the logs you can see how long many of the articles are in your feed and adjust this value to get some articles accepted.
  6. Exclude if No Image – If checked, then any articles where MyCurator has NOT found an image will be excluded.  The log for Activity will show a message of No Image Found.  Make sure that you have chosen to set a featured image or insert an image in the post!
  7. Skip These Domains – Any articles that are found on websites with a domain listed here will be skipped.  Enter one domain per line.  A domain is the part of the web address up to and including the .com or .net or other ‘dot’ ending. For example is a domain. This is useful to skip domains that bring back articles you are not interested in such as job search listings. If you are following news on your industry, you will be able to skip, and other jobs domains that will have help wanted listings. Be careful with this, as you can enter just a single word or set of characters and if they match anywhere in the domain string, it will be excluded.  For example you could enter jobs here and any domain with the letters jobs in it will be excluded such as or etc.
  8. Choose Type – There are 3 types of Topics, Filter, Video and Relevance. A Topic of Type Relevance will use the MyCurator Relevance engine and will be available for MyCurator Training. This is the preferred option. Filter will return all articles that match the keyword, length and domain filters you set here. The MyCurator Relevance engine will Not be used on Filter or Video Topics and articles for these Topics will have no Relevance information in the Training page and no training tags will appear.  When the Topic is Auto Post Good – Active, all articles that meet the filter criteria will be posted to the site.

    Video Topic – Because videos found on web pages normally have very little accompanying text, MyCurator’s filter keywords tend to filter them out.  By setting a Topic Type to Video, you can focus on Video web pages.  Normally, you should use a Google Alert with a Result Type of Video as your Source for a Video topic.  This will use Google’s Search engine to return just web pages with embedded video.  You should also use no Search 1 filter keywords (let the Google alert handle this) or at least very few.  Similarly, use either no Search 2 Keywords or use a lot of them to have a better chance of matching the small amount of text on video pages.  Finally, make sure you set the Minimum Article Length to 0 or set to a very small number.  You can set the Option “Embed Video in Post for Video Topic?” in the Curation tab to have MyCurator place any video it finds directly into the post as an excerpt.

  9. Topic Status – The Status can be Inactive, Manual Curation – Training or Auto Post Good – Active. Inactive status will tell MyCurator not to use the Topic or read its sources. No articles will be found or posted to the Training pages or the site. Manual Curation – Training status means all articles will be posted to the Training page. Auto Post Good – Active Status will mean that any articles that are found to be ‘good’ by the Relevance engine, or any Filter type Topic articles, will be posted to the main site in their respective Category and with the Tags you define below. Any ‘bad’ or ‘not sure’ articles will still be posted to the Training page.
  10. User for MyCurator Posts – Choose a user name from the drop down and this user will be assigned to each article found by MyCurator for this Topic.  If Not Set, then the default user in the Admin Options tab will be used for this Topic.  If a user with an Author role is chosen, then they will only be able to manage training articles where they are the author when they are logged in.
  11. Assign to Category – This is the Category the article will be assigned when it is posted to the main site by MyCurator, either automatically when a Topic is active, or when you choose [Make Live] from the training page.
  12. Or Create New Category – If you wish to create a new Category on the main page where this topic’s articles will be assigned, type it in here. This will over-ride any Category chosen in the field above. This entry is only available when you create a new topic.
  13. Use Search 2 Keywords as Tags? – If this option is checked, the words in the Topic Search 2 list of words can become the set of tags for the article when it is posted to the main site. Each of the words will ONLY be used if it is found in the article, so at least one of the words will become a tag for any article that is posted to the main site.  This will create a variable set of tags based on the article contents, constrained by your choice of keywords in Topic Search 2.
  14. Or Assign to a single Tag – This is the Tag the article will be assigned when it is posted to the main site by the MyCurator tool (unless over-ridden above).
  15. Topic Start Date (mm/dd/yy) – Add a date here and this Topic will not be processed until this date.  Leave blank and no starting date check will be performed.  Must use mm/dd/yy format.
  16. Topic End Date (mm/dd/yy) – Add a date here and this Topic will not be processed after this date.  Leave blank and no ending date check will be performed.  Must use mm/dd/yy format.

Custom Post Types

If you have custom post types defined for your installation and have chosen which ones are available for curation, you will see them listed here.  Just click on the Radio button for the post type you wish this Topic to post to.  If you have chosen a Taxonomy for the post type, you can choose a value that will be used for each post created.  Choose Save Topic and from that point forward any Training Post that is Made Live or Auto Posted as Live will now be posted with the Custom Post Type and Taxonomy value you have chosen.  Older posts will not be affected.

Select Sources for this Topic

Choose one or more of the Source Groups listed in this section by clicking on the check box.  Remember, each Source Group may consist of one or more actual feeds in the Sources section.

Run MyCurator Background Process Manually

You can manually run the MyCurator background process to check for articles.  Choose Topics from the MyCurator menu.  You will see a checkbox for each Topic on the right and a check/uncheck all box in the header.  You can choose which Topics you would like to run manually by checking them (default is all).  Then just click the Run AI Process button in the Top Left.